Long-running children’s anime, Prince Mackaroo, is now embroiled in a scandal after one of its main cast members left. Seiyuu Hiroko Konishi, who voiced Ojarumaru in the anime’s first 270 episodes, left the franchise after industry disagreements. She claims that they used recordings of her voice in Ojarumaru dolls without her consent, and that’s why she left. Chinami Nishimura replaced her for the role soon after she left.
In her twitter page, she revealed that the staff did not notify her that they’ll be using her voice for merchandise. But when she contacted her agency, her “voice mama,” “Matsumoto P,” told her that her inquiry was cheeky. She also stated that “Matsumoto P” warned her that she might not be able to work in anime again if she didn’t keep quiet. It also seems that the staff kept the incident under wraps, and Konishi didn’t receive any further information.
And now, 18 years after the incident took place, a similar incident occurred, and this time, it involves the network, NHK. The network, which also broadcasts Prince Mackaroo, has now implemented procedures for dealing with such incidences. This includes procedures for telephone calls, e-mails, related confirmation and documentation, and bank account payment transfers. She then added that she’s now waiting for an apology from the anime’s staff. She also added that she now has nothing to fear, and feels that she must inform the public of what happened.
And with the allegations towards former Pixiv representative director Hiroaki Nagata coming to light, she now also feels it’s now time to come out with her own sexual harassment story. Konishi said that Prince Mackaroo director, Akitarou Daichi, once invited her to a mixed bathing resort. She claims that the director lured her through her manager, Hara, but said she didn’t go. The seiyuu also added that he seems to have thought that he could get a “little entertainment” from the trip. Mixed bathing resorts don’t allow swimsuits or towels, which means that guests would be completely nude when they go together. She also said that she has already heard a lot of stories from others regarding this types of incidences.
Konishi left Prince Mackaroo back in 2000, and last worked with Daichi on the Dango Gonta ONA in 2003. Fans might also know her as Sae Sawanoguchi from Magic User’s Club, as well as You’re Under Arrest’s Sena Wakabayashi.